Amazon Prime’s bizarre new sexually-charged dancing competition drama, Birds of Paradise, has finally arrived! Allison was especially thrilled to ask a few burning questions during her Zoom interview with actors Diana Silvers and Kristine Frøseth. They chat about how earlier modeling experience prepared each for the role, money’s influence on success, and their dance training!
Kate (Silvers) may have only started dancing a mere five years prior, but this ambitious aspiring ballerina plans to take full advantage of an exciting new opportunity: a scholarship for a prestigious Parisian ballet school. However, upon arriving, it becomes painfully clear that the cutthroat atmosphere and petty judgments from her fellow dancers are more than which she bargained. None seems more confrontational than Marine (Frøseth), a beautiful mysterious dancer whose brother (and dance partner), Ollie, recently perished from suicide. Kate and Marine form an intense rivalry that initially is sparked with them slapping each other across the face numerous times. With their sights set on winning the coveted prize of joining the Opéra national de Paris, Kate and Marine eventually form a bond, vowing to “win the prize together or not at all!”
Read on for our exclusive interview with actors Diana Silvers and Kristine Frøseth!
I’m so thrilled to talk with you both about Birds of Paradise! I loved the film, it was so intense! I know you both started your careers as models prior to becoming actors. How did your modeling backgrounds prepare you both for the role, perhaps with previous knowledge of the French language or experience with extreme competition?
KRISTINE FRØSETH: That is interesting! We were just talking about how we both struggled with body issues and weight and physical appearance and all of that. How re-entering this space brought up a lot of those feelings. We had to re-face those challenges and those thoughts.
DIANA SILVERS: With French culture… The first time I modeled, I was 17 and I went to Paris for three months to basically do what felt like modeling boot camp. Day one, they were like, ‘Oh, you’re fat.’ And I was like, ‘Cool, I’m not, but glad that this is your weird standard of bodies.”
KRISTINE: It’s true!
DIANA: I felt like such an outsider, which I think Kate also felt so much, when she went to Paris at 17. She was just like, ‘I don’t fit into this mold of what it means to be here.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, I definitely felt that way, when I first went to Paris when I was 17 myself.’ Obviously Kate tries really hard to conform, just as I did, but very different worlds. It’s a competitive, cutthroat industry, modeling, and same with ballet.
Who you know seems vital to paving your way in most industries, and even more so in entertainment. Why do you think money and connection go hand in hand in the success of one’s career, like for Kate at the academy?
KRISTINE: Why money and connection go hand in hand? People with money are the ones that usually start all the stuff. So they’re all intertwined.
DIANA: If you start the race already ahead… If you’re running four laps around the track, you’re running a mile in a race, and someone already starts one mile ahead of you and that’s their starting point, think about how much faster you have to run to catch up and win the race. That’s essentially what it’s like, I think, having money and connections in any industry.
Do either of you have prior experience with dance, and how much rehearsal was required in advance?
KRISTINE: No, I had zero. I had had never danced before. So we had three months of intense schedules from morning to night, where we would just do everything from observing classes to participating in ballet classes, choreography, gyrotonics, pilates, stretching. Then we did three weeks of rehearsals for the actual dancing that we did in the movie.
DIANA: Choreography, with Celia, Rallison Hall and her assistant at Anasaki and Jason Kelberg, which was really fun. That was a really fun time.
Major thanks to Diana Silvers and Kristine Frøseth for chatting with us today! Be sure to check out their new film! Prepare to enter the competition—Birds of Paradise is now available to stream, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
Read our full review here.